As I posted not long ago, I've been going about having an avenue of communication with a friend of mine for some time now. Each of my attempts of communicating have been left unanswered...
...so I'm giving up. The last option I had mentioned to me was to send a certified letter. At least this way I will for SURE get something back. Whether that be a response from her. Or the little postcard slip on the back of a certified letter coming back to me to tell me it was received by the receipient, so I will at least have her signature saying she undoubtedly received one of my attempts at communication for SURE. Or that being the entire letter coming back to me saying "refused" or "unclaimed." At least this way I will get SOMETHING back...
So, with this last effort I unleashed my thoughts and my heart all into one long letter. The first half was lead a lot more by my thoughts (it's more blunt, and straight out saying how it is, no-sugar coating), but the end truly was my heart speaking, and I know, should she read that far, she will know that.
I have ended my attempts with this:
To Whom This Letter Might Reach—for I know not with whom I’m addressing anymore…
The Laura I once knew I feel is no longer the woman of today. Yes, we all change, but they (being research and science) like to argue that our personalities are basically set during our first few years of live. Whether that is true or not, I don’t know. But I do know, that should that be the case, the personality behind the person I knew a few years ago, is no longer the personality I’ve attempted to communicate with for the past 6 months.
The personality I once knew could, and would, talk to me for hours. That personality resided in an individual who had a sense of devotion to her relationships. I knew that, even when she was frightened of what might come from a conversation, she was still willing to address it. Something I admired. It’s hard to go into a confrontation. This was why I hoped it would never get to this point where I feel like you are avoiding our communication because of fear of confrontation.
I’ve made every attempt to let you choose the avenue of communication. I’ve emailed you. I’ve called you. I’ve come to your apartment. I’ve even given you several opportunities to take the easiest way “out” of a confrontation, meaning I’ve written you letters asking for a written response in return. Writing someone a letter is easily the least confrontational form for communication, but you’ve chosen to dismiss all my attempts to communicate between the two of us.
I’ve given you straight out opportunities to write me back and say in whatever form you should choose how terrible of a person I’ve been. I was willing to accept that, but even those hopes for SOME sort of communication have gone unanswered. Maybe you do hate me. Maybe you don’t want to have any more communication with me the rest of your life. Should that be the case, I would hope you are adult enough to make that known.
How simple is a “Leave me alone” letter back to me? I gave you a self-addressed STAMPED envelope each time I wrote. For goodness sakes, I wasn’t even asking you to use a stamp! It would cost you NOTHING. All you’d have to do is stick it with the rest of your outgoing making for your apartment complex on the top of your mailboxes on your way out the door some day.
It was that outgoing mail that let me know that I DID have the correct complex when I attempted to talk to you in person when I looked for your apartment. I say this because I noticed (your husband) had a letter in the out-going mail waiting to be picked up by the mailman there. So, I KNOW I had the right complex.
Something I’ll never forget and always cherish about the friendship we shared in the past was both of our loves and appreciation for music.
Still loving music today, I want use a part from Mr. Baz Luhrmann’s “Everybody’s Free (to wear sunscreen),” which I believe to be a very well written and advising piece. He says:
“Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.”
Gosh, how true! I’ve definitely lived through enough of a life to know that friends really do come and go. And what’s interesting is how many different meanings that in it’s self has. It can mean that friends will come and go in the sense that a friend might be here for a month and then you don’t talk to them ever again…they came and went. Or it can mean that one friend will come, while another will go…this happens often, especially with encounters with big life events. Or it can mean that a friend could come and go and come and go and come and go, like a yo-yo in a sense. There’s that saying about how true friends are those that you can go without seeing or talking to for a while and then be able to pick right up where you last left off and not feel like any time has passed. Those are the “yo-yo” type friends. The ones that have the deep friendship in which the bond will always be there. They can always count on each other, even when they do have to “go” for a bit.
I suppose depending on which type of “come and go” the friend fits into, determines whether they are one of the “precious few you should hold on to...”
Laura, we’ve always had the difference in our ages, but we never used to let that be a factor in our friendship. That was something I always admired and respected about our friendship. But maybe the difference has come into play now. Maybe Mr. Luhrmann is right. Maybe it is “the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.” Maybe since I do have those few years on you, this point has hit me before it’s hit you.
I’ve had the pleasure of getting back in touch with many of my friends from growing up. Some even from as far back as my elementary school days before moving to St. Louis. It has been some of my most excited times, reuniting with old friends. And while each of those friendships have been exciting for me to rekindle, none of them were friendships I viewed as as “precious” as the one we had. Our friendship was “one of the precious” few.
I’ve tried. I don’t think anyone would argue the fact that I’ve “worked hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle” of our two lives. There’s no doubt we have some “geography” separating the two of us. And we may have more different lifestyles from one another today than we ever had. You’re married. I’m single. I’m about to complete a masters degree. You’re still working on your undergraduate degree (as far as I know). You are studying the hard sciences to be a nurse. I’m studying the social sciences to be a therapist.
Yes, our lifestyles today might be different, but it wasn’t that our “lifestyles” were ever all that similar even when we were the best of friends: I went to (the name of my high school). You went to (the name of her high school). You had a car. I didn’t have a car. I would say things to people’s faces. You would shy away from confrontation. You came from a middle class family. I came from a low class family. You were baptized. I was not.
We’ve always had “lifestyle” differences, but those were what I truly believe made us more interested in each other. We were different and we were fine with it.
The similarities that really make a friendship come on the level of values and beliefs. The Laura I once knew, shared a lot of the same values and beliefs as I did. I truly believe that was what brought our friendship as close as it did. Yes, we had similar interests as well, but when two people truly value similar aspects of life and qualities of life, they can share a special bond for a relationship, whether that is a friendship or a romantic relationship.
I don’t know. Maybe “geography” and “lifestyles” have led us to value and believe different things, which incase, would make grounds for a friendship between the two of us nowadays to be difficult. However, should that be the case, that is what I need to know.
I’m asking for your help, Laura. I’m asking you to tell me what I need to know. Tell your story. I’m asking for you to let yourself be known. I’m not trying to tell the story alone, I’m asking for your input. I want to know what has gone on, or what has gone wrong. I need to know how things look from your perspective.
Communication is a two person act. In order for the noun of “communication” to take place, two verbs, or in other words, actions (communicating) between to different people must take place. I’ve acted. I’ve been communicating. However, I’ve been communicating alone for 6 months now. We’ve yet to be able to achieve the “-tion” in order to have successfully achieve communication. And without your help, I can never reach that step. It doesn’t matter how hard I work at “bridging the gaps,” I’ll always be stuck until you’ve acted in your part.
So I give up. I don’t dig out a white flag, because I haven’t surrendered, I’ve just run out of breathe to press-on. I’ve exhausted my options. I’m laying on the ground waiting to be overcome with a feeling.
Will it be a feeling of sadness? Will it be a feeling of emptiness? Will it be a feeling of sorrow? Will it be a feeling of regret? Will it be a feeling of remorse? Or will it be a feeling of acceptance?
I don’t know and only time will tell. But I’ve given up. I can’t say if I’ll ever try your phone number again, or if I’ll erase your number from my phone hoping to not have to be reminded of my attempts to understand that were left unfulfilled.
What I do know is I can sleep at night knowing that I tried. I’ve done everything I could think of in my mind to have communication with you. I’ve cried due to my fair share of frustrations and I’ve run out of tears to be shed in a battle that I’ve extinguished my resources in.
They say that hostages that end up alive when the rescuers come to save them are the ones that have never given up hope. Even after they have tried every possible means to escape on their own, and they lie dying on a cold dark floor of a cellar, they still have a sense of hope buried somewhere within them that keeps them alive until that rescuer opens the door to let the light shine in.
I’ve still got that hope, Laura. I’ve used all the means I’ve had to get to understand and get to that “light,” but now I’ve given up on my end of trying to find the light, and I’m going to lay down and hold on to the hope I have left.
On the morning of Monday, January 23rd, before going off to work, I dug out my old silver chained necklace that had the little four-hearted silver ring on it; the ring that you and I both got back in August 2000 to keep as a reminder of our friendship as I left for college. I’ve worn that necklace with the ring on it every day and night since then, only taking it off to shower, with hope that you’ll remember our friendship too.
As I wear this necklace today, I still have my hope, Laura. I might lie on the ground feeling our friendship has died, but I will still have the hope that you’ll pull through and bring me into the light. I know you can. And it’s the Laura I knew for many years that gives me the reason to know that and to continue in my hope.
Let the light shine Laura. Let your light shed some understanding my way. Help me by simply communicating your story to me.
Giving up but hanging on with hope…